Author Topic: My Vipassana  (Read 1097 times)

Musicman28

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My Vipassana
« on: February 29, 2016, 05:00:16 PM »
I really just wanted to share where my practices at this point for any helpful feedback. I completed my first 10 day course last September.

For me, I desire to learn the practice properly and the way it is taught. Like many though, I do find the post course practice of one hour in the morning and one in the evening a challenge. Lately I have been consistent with the hour morning practice but rarely do an evening sit.

My practice varies each and every time. Often my mind is saturated in projections and story telling which still make up the larger part of my sits today. Sometimes these last 5 seconds and other times 5+ minutes. At some point I catch myself and bring myself back to anapana or to the Vipassana focus area.

As far as my self observation of my Vipassana, I don't think I am doing it correctly yet. This is a concern in that Goenka's message is to learn the technique and do it properly. Otherwise it's not Vipassana. So I am sensitive to the fact that I may be growing in wrong technique.

To describe my technique, there is a visual component to my scanning. I often have to visualize the area before starting.

It feels more like I am pushing energy in the focus area rather than sitting mindfully and just observing sensation. This seems to be the only way I can lock in on the specific areas.

When I find myself in what feels like a place to practice sweeping, it's usually a fast and warm like rush through the areas (usually whole head, followed by neck, both arms at same time then the chest, stomach, upper, mid and lower back, followed by torso and then both legs. I usually have to catch my breath a bit after, refocus and then sweep back up the body.

As far as part chunking where moving through entire body parts inside and out, up and down and sideways, I had a highly successful experience at the course, that when it ended, I felt like I was floating out of the room after and it was quite euphoric. I have had a few mini experiences since and this part of the technique actually "feels" like proper practice perhaps.

So it really is the main technique that I feel needs work for me. The simple observation of the different parts of the body. I would have hoped by now that I would be father along in being able to do this properly and with greater ease. Fact is, it's still a real struggle mostly and concerned if I am even going about it correctly.

If anyone can relate to the place I am at and offer any suggestions, I'm wide open.

In peace..

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Re: My Vipassana
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2016, 07:41:04 PM »
It`s okay to be challenging, but it`s good to see it as a ball. If you get the ball to roll, it gets easier, it gathers momentum and needs less effort on your part. If you stop the ball, it will become harder again, and by saving the effort to keep the momentum going, you`ll actually have to afford more effort to gain back that momentum again. In terms of regular and consistent practice, it really becomes a key point later on - ideally early on too. But it`s okay if it`s not "perfect" from the very beginning, implementation and routine and stuff alike.

To have visual component in the beginning is okay and normal, and will eventually drop automatically by further practicing and will not be needed later on. You will come to directly perceive things as you direct your attention/awareness/intent there. Comes naturally though. Give it time

Quote
I had a highly successful experience at the course, that when it ended, I felt like I was floating out of the room after and it was quite euphoric. I have had a few mini experiences since and this part of the technique actually "feels" like proper practice perhaps.

In relation to this vipassana technique, a "highly successful experience" could be related to you getting carried away for the full duration of your sitting for 5 minutes all the time before noticing that your mind has wandered away, then gently putting your attention back to present moment awareness and the breath/anapana without any form of emotion or disliking towards the fact of having wandered away and starting again. That`s considered a highly successful experience and sitting, and this "is" proper practice. It`s important to learn to evaluate your meditation not by what you encounter in meditation - concentration, unconcentratetness, sustained focus, wandering mind, tense sensations, blissful sensations, no sensations at all, boredom, excitement, etc. - but by how you relate to all this. You observe it, are just aware, not liking one over the other, remaining equanimous. Then, every experience you remained and practiced your capability to just observe - without judgement, without evaluation whether its good or bad, without clinging to it because it is a beautiful or blissful state, or "progress", and without disliking something for feeling uncomfortable, for not being able to focus or concentrate - becomes a "highly successful experience" and "progress". It`s important to get this right as early as possible and come back to that as often as possible as it becoming your measurement of "good/bad meditation/experience" and "progress" and alike.

If I`m not in the mood sit at evening, am very unfocused and disturbed at the end of the day, I could sit down and be with that all as my object of meditation (observing without evaluation, without judgement - which is awareness and equanimity). Whether it is successful or not is not dependent on the experience you make, but on how you refer to that experience. Observant? Equanimous? Or reactive, impulsive, judging, evaluating etc. To start to change the habit pattern of our minds to react to everything with clinging and disliking, we have to start facing things we cling to and dislike, and then to not cling to them or dislike them. Mind wandering away for minutes? Start to not dislike it - successful meditation, progressive. That`s quite a subtle point that is often repeated because it is easy to miss out - all experience we encounter are just opportunities to develop our faculty of observation without judgement. Whether an experience is contributing to our success or progress is therefor only dependent on two things: did it help as a means to increase your awareness and equanimity? Could you see it clearly as it is, not as you`d like it to be? E.g., if you don`t feel like sitting for meditation or you are so unfocused and wandering away - can you sit and use this experience as a contribution to your success in vipassana, and your progress? Every experience is good enough and can be a hindrance or a means for progress. Whether you have blissful, psychedelic etc. experiences or not does not indicate automaticly whether it is progress or not - don`t get that wrong in your practice.

Quote
The simple observation of the different parts of the body. I would have hoped by now that I would be father along in being able to do this properly and with greater ease. Fact is, it's still a real struggle mostly and concerned if I am even going about it correctly.
Quote

To get to some levels of "more ease", I feel the one single thing that helps me most is consistency and discipline, in the sense of the ball you get rolling. In this sense, the more you put into your practice, the easier it becomes, the more momentum you gain; often, between every morning sitting, especially in early stages of meditation, there is just too much going on during our days as to really maintain a good focus that we`ll bring to the table the next day and start anywhere near where we left the sitting the day before. Hence, evening sittings become kind of crucial at some point, for building that momentum in the sense of the ball-analogy. The less energy you put in, or the more convenient you become in meditation, the harder it gets actually - being my experience. Evening sittings are kind of a good link between morning-evening-next morning; and allows to build that momentum, that you`d otherwise miss (which you gain automatically on retreats, but have to be a bit more disciplined and strategic in daily life). To build more sustained focus over time, it`s been crucial in my experience to have two sittings every day.

Other than that I don`t feel, from what I read only here, that there`s big troubles otherwise, and that you`re doing good overall. Not unusual, and not unovercomeable struggles that we all in some way or another can relate to and have faced especially in early phases of the practice :-)

peace back

to be or not to be - one hardly notices the subtlety

 

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